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Maryland awards $30.9 million to improve water quality and increase resilience

ANNAPOLIS, MD – The Maryland Department of Natural Resources on Tuesday announced the awarding of $30.9 million in grants to local communities to implement projects that will restore local waterways, increase climate resilience, and develop the next generation of environmental stewards.

“We are pleased to support these innovative projects that will help us achieve our environmental goals,” Maryland Department of Natural Resources Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio said. “In addition to improving the resilience of our communities, these projects will protect our local streams, rivers, and the Chesapeake Bay in measurable ways.”

A map of projects and list of awardees for Fiscal Year 2020 is available online.

To streamline the grant application and management process, the department created a “Grants Gateway” to provide a single entry point to access funding for innovative, local projects. In addition to ease of use for applicants, the Grants Gateway provides the department an integrated grant-management system to monitor sources, manage data, and ensure grants are consistent with the department’s strategic priorities.

Grants are funded through the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund, the Coastal Resiliency Program, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Chesapeake Bay Program, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The Grants Gateway also provides access to the department’s Waterway Improvement Fund, which announced project funding earlier this month.

By improving connections across various grants programs that support bay restoration and community resilience, the department will be better able to fund more comprehensive and integrated projects that foster healthy ecosystems, build resiliency, or provide outdoor education experiences.

Also on Tuesday, Governor Larry Hogan released the following statement regarding the U.S. House of Representatives’ passage of the government funding bill that includes Chesapeake Bay funding:

“As chairman of the Chesapeake Executive Council, I commend the House for agreeing to increase federal funding for the Chesapeake Bay Program. Since March, we have been fighting the federal administration’s attempts to make cuts to the program. The Chesapeake Bay is our state’s greatest natural asset, which is why over the last five years, we’ve invested $5 billion in wide-ranging restoration efforts; as a result, we have seen marked improvements in the Bay’s health.

“Our record commitment to the Chesapeake Bay will continue as long as I am governor, but federal support is an important part of maintaining our historic momentum. I now call on the Senate to immediately follow the lead of their colleagues in the House and help our efforts to preserve this state and national treasure.”

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